Carpenter: What about our own?

Kim Carpenter
San Juan County


I say to the American public, did you forget? Veterans created the freedoms you have. They sacrificed so it could continue. They protect our nation to preserve that freedom and to ensure our future is free.

Free to live, free to learn, free to love, and free to enter the country. But that entrance should not be completely free and should come at a cost just as it does for each of us. Sure, temporary refuge is humanitarian but our soldiers sacrificed their way of life to enable AMERCIANS to live in the land of the free.

The freedom to enter was never intended to create charity and socialism for those who are not here legally. Soldiers paid their taxes even while risking and sacrificing their lives for this country. They pay for healthcare which should not be free.

So what about our soldiers? Some of them are homeless and lots of them can use a job and are in definite need of better access to healthcare. Yet they are not a priority for many of our fellow citizens who are instead focused on protecting those not born in our country, many of whom don’t pay taxes but receive healthcare and education and other services.

It has been said that more than $100 billion annually is spent on immigration to provide, food, housing, law enforcement and corrections, healthcare, education, and homeland/border security

Starbucks says they are hiring 10,000 immigrants. I hope these people become taxpayers and pay for healthcare just as we citizens do. The federal government needs to incorporate a mechanism, even if it involves minimal contributions, that requires those people to give back something.

Where is Starbucks when a homeless vet is cold on the streets and needs something warm to drink? Google makes promises to raise money for immigrants but what about our own in need? It’s a disgrace to see Starbucks, Google and other organizations blowing up the headlines to launch efforts to help others abroad more than they ever tried to help our own. Drink Dunkin and search Yahoo!

Today, lots of Americans in many respects treat veterans the same way they did when soldiers came home from Vietnam. These individuals followed orders and obeyed the law. Many gave up their lives and others came home forever changed from being maimed physically or mentally. For years, they lived with the torment during and after the Vietnam era, and some of that torment came from our own fellow citizens.

Now in many ways they are overlooked and forgotten by younger generations who feel nothing but entitlement.

If you took even a portion of money spent on immigration and used it for our own in need, and on our national debt, think about how much better off we would be as a society. Veterans, the homeless and people on welfare with legitimate need should be angry just as I am at the outcry on immigration.

I get it, there needs to be a balance in our immigration policies. Anyone with the good intent to contribute to society should be granted the right to enter but when they do, they will need to live with the same requirements as those who are American born. Our borders have been opened for years and many who have immigrated here are doing it right and living as equals. But when you are fighting the fight for them, don’t forget about the needs that veterans, the homeless and others have.

You can come and live the American Dream but there needs to be a system developed to ensure fairness and equity.

The United States is a weaker nation today because of oversensitivity and the unwillingness to do the hard work to make a difference. Societal acceptance has diminished the morality that this nation was founded upon.

People need to stop the anti-American sentiment and embrace the challenge to be productive and create opportunity instead of being destructive in your own homeland.

Work to develop a system that should have been developed decades ago by Republicans and Democrats alike. We all must work together for everyone who is oppressed while not forgetting those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.